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Home > Communications > Newsroom > 2008

NEWSROOM

Louisiana Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guidebook
June 27, 2008

The recent experiences of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are costly reminders of the physical impact that coastal storms have on the landscape of south Louisiana. If you live here, history indicates that you have a 1-in-10 chance of being affected by a hurricane.

To improve coastal communities’ ability to cope with a storm, the Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program has prepared the Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Guidebook. The 250-page book – which examines issues from zoning and building siting to construction methods and legal issues – is available for free.

“The intent of the guidebook is to present basic strategies that can help planners, managers and property owners in coastal communities better prepare for and recover from hurricanes,” said Jim Wilkins, LSG Law & Policy Program director. “Even though Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive and costliest tropical cyclone in the history of the United States, it is important to remember that many previous storms were likely more powerful and that there are more storms in our future.

“It is up to us, as individuals and local governments, to take the lead in protecting our lives and property and to establish resilient and sustainable communities through our decisions on where and how to build. The techniques discussed in the guidebook can be implemented by local governments as well as individuals without dependence on state or federal governments. In other words, this is a ‘self-help’ book,” Wilkins said.

The strategies outlined in the guidebook will reduce, but not eliminate, the risks from coastal natural hazards such as storm surge, other flooding, subsidence and sea level rise, and are meant to serve as an extra layer of protection or an additional line of defense. The guidebook also demonstrates how communities can adopt a flexible approach to hazard planning and accommodate a wide range of attitudes toward restrictions on the use of property to mitigate hazards.

An electronic copy of the book can be downloaded from the LSG Law & Policy Program Web site (www.lsu.edu/sglegal), or a printed copy can be ordered by contacting Jessica Schexnayder, 105 Sea Grant Building, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. Please include a check or money order for $5 when ordering a printed copy to cover shipping and handling. For general information about obtaining a book, e-mail jsche15@lsu.edu.

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